Offerering Green Power With the Power of the Sun

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In tight economic times everyone is looking for ways to save money and cut expenses. How about cutting that electric bill by 70 percent and fuel oil heating costs by 80 percent? Alexandria expert Kent Baake says its a no-brainer.

Baake is the founder and owner of Alexandria-based Continuum Energy Solutions, an energy audit, efficiency and solar installation company. Hes not a tree hugger, but a businessman who practices what he preaches and attacks the energy crisis pragmatically.

We dont just sell solar energy. We do the whole remediation thing, Baake said. I look at this from a businessmans point of view. We also conduct education sessions on green savings and helping the environment.

That green savings has a dual meaning when Baake uses the term. He sees it not only in terms of the environment but also in terms of monetary savings to both homeowners and commercial owners. 
Our energy audits look at all elements within a home or commercial building to make it more energy efficient, he said.

And, he applies it to his own home. When I did an audit in my home I was amazed at how much energy I was wasting. All the leaks around windows, doors, up the chimney if you put them together they would amount to having a three-foot-by-three-foot opening in the wall of the house, Baake said.

His firm, established in 2007, is able to analyze and solve wasteful energy conditions for home and business owners. And the cost can be greatly reduced by both federal and state programs, according to Baake.

On November 1 the Virginia Department of Mines, Minerals and Energy opened its online applications for programs advancing energy efficiency and renewable technology projects. These two programs each had $15 million available for residential and commercial properties to encourage upgrades and renewable energy projects, Baake said.

Unfortunately for its supporters, the state programs are nearly out of money, he noted. However, there is also a federal program that provides a 30 percent tax credit for the cost of energy efficient programs. It has a life span of seven years, Baake noted.

This funding is not only going to offset the cost of going green, it is also going to dramatically enhance the local energy and solar business sectors, Baake said. 

He and his team are active in Virginias energy policy and have been tracking these rebate and credit programs since they were initiated.

A Northern Virginia native, Baake is a graduate of Annandale High School and George Mason University. He is also the founder and operator of Metro Gutter, a home services company.
Different from many other energy companies in the area, Baakes firm takes a fully integrated, holistic approach to solar energy by combining energy auditing, energy efficiency, consulting and solar installation, according to the companys website.

For additional information on the full services of Continuum visit www.ces-va.com or give them a call at 703-354-0262. Using solar energy is better not only for the planet but also for the pocketbook, Baake said.

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